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Thursday, June 08, 2017

China Closes Tibet to All Climbers for Fall 2017

Yesterday I posted a follow-up story on Polish climber Janusz Adamski, who received a 10 year ban from climbing in Nepal after he descended the South Side of Everest without a permit following his summit from the North Side in Tibet. At the time, I said that I felt like he was getting off easy, as he didn't face any significant fines for his actions, which could have cost him up to $22,000. But, it turns out that others will now face consequences for his illegal act.

Alan Arnette is reporting that China has completely closed Tibet for the fall climbing in 2017 due to Adamski's flagrant violation of the rules. Yesterday, the China-Tibet Mountaineering Association issued a memo stating that it would no longer issue any permits for climbing during the post-monsoon season and even goes so far as to name Adamski specifically in the note. Officials in China have yet to announce any legal actions against the Polish mountaineer, but it is likely he'll face a ban from climbing in that country as well. 

It had been previously known that no permits would be issued for the North Side of Everest this fall, but it was expected that as many as 50 permits would be offered for Cho Oyu. That will no longer be the case and any permits already issues will be revoked. As Alan points out, that due to the actions of one selfish climber, now many others must pay the price.

He also notes that Adamski's actions may simply be the excuse that Chinese officials needed to close down Tibet to foreigners this fall. If they suspect that there will be political unrest in the area, or an incident that might draw attention to the plight of the Tibetan people, the government there won't hesitate to close its borders. It has happened several times in the past and will likely happen again too.

Either way, it looks like climbing in Tibet is completely closed until next spring, which is sure to come as a disappointment to any teams that were planning to go there later this year. 

1 comment:

Barry said...

I'm not sure of the veracity of the following but I read that China was none too happy that a climber summited and raised the flag of Tibet and held a picture of the Dali Lama (which really angered the Chinese government.) The pictures went somewhat viral. Seems that story would be more inline as a reason for China's closure action due to their political sensitivities towards this topic.